43 Meredith Mathews

12 Aug

To mangle a hoary old phrase, creativity isn’t inspiration, it’s perspiration.

Creativity is a practice. Not “how do you get to Carnegie Hall” practice, though there is a lot to that, but a practice. It’s like a meditative practice, a religious practice, even a medical practice — something you do every day intensely for a long time so to build up momentum that you can use to carry you through the times when it’s not so easy.

You want to be more creative? Pick your medium and do it every day for a year. You want to get creative fast? Pick your medium and do *one* thing over and over again every day for a month.

Writers write. Composers compose. Chefs cook. Whatever your thing is, do it, and keep doing it until you’ve completely exhausted the trite, derivative, cliche’d crap you secretly fear all of your work is and clear a little space in your head to say something new and interesting. You want to complain that it’s not so easy? That it seems so much easier for those other people to do it and not you? Go for it, but complain and create. If you don’t put the work in, it won’t get easier and you won’t improve and you won’t have anything to show for it.

So what about inspiration? It absolutely happens. Now and then lightening will strike and some brilliance will burst fully formed from your forehead. If you want to sit around and wait for it, go right ahead. But tell me this: what are you going to do with yourself in the mean time, and will you be prepared when it gets here?

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Posted by on August 12, 2011 in Creativity Guest Posts


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